Janet Yellen: Economic Endeavors


Federal Reserve

Chair Yellen presents the Monetary Policy Report to the Congress on July 15th, 2014.

Carley Dumaresq '24

Janet Louise Yellen is a woman all girls can admire. She is the first person in American history to have led the White House Council of Economic Advisers, the Federal Reserve, and the Treasury Department. To fully understand Yellen’s story, we have to look back on her illustrious past. In 1967, she graduated summa cum laude from Brown University with a degree in economics and later went on to earn her Ph.D. at Yale. Two dozen economists earned their Ph.D. that year, but Yellen was the only woman and was said to be one of the class’s brightest and most memorable students. She then went on to work as an assistant professor at Harvard until 1976, when she began working for the Federal Reserve Board. 

Her political career began in 1994 when President Bill Clinton appointed Yellen to the Federal Reserve Board of Governors. Three years later, he named her the White House Council of Economic Advisors chair. Yellen was so revered because she genuinely focused on how important it was for people to have rewarding jobs. She studied the correlation between firms that paid more than minimum wage and how these businesses that offered better-paying jobs and working conditions tended to be rewarded with higher morale, reduced turnover, and greater productivity. She is also known for pointing out the worrying economic trend of the 2004 housing market. When the housing bubble burst in 2008, Secretary Yellen helped manage the resulting financial crisis and recession. Because of this, in 2010, President Barack Obama appointed her Vice-Chair of the Federal Reserve. If all of this wasn’t enough, on December 1, 2020, President-elect Biden nominated Yellen to the post of Treasury Secretary. He has said of Yellen, “She has spent her career focused on unemployment and the dignity of work,” he said, “She understands what it means to people and their communities when they have good, decent jobs.”

Her impressive education, outstanding career achievements, and true concern for the people in the American workforce truly make her a wonder woman.


“U.S. Department of the Treasury.” Janet Yellen | U.S. Department of the Treasury, home.treasury.gov/about/general-information/officials/janet-yellen.